On January 15th, 2014, China, a newly-elected UN Human Rights Council member, arrested distinguished Uyghur scholar and activist Ilham Tohti without specific charges, drawing swift condemnation from the United States and European Union.
East Turkestan & the Uyghurs
A young Uyghur journalist and blogger, who disappeared during the riots in the capital city of northwestern China's Xinjiang region in 2009, has been convicted on charges of separatism and held in prison for the last four years, according to his family who spoke about his fate for the first time.
A Uyghur village secretary for the ruling Chinese Communist Party has been murdered and a Uyghur man shot dead in a township in northwestern China’s troubled Xinjiang province, adding to a spate of violence in recent months, according to local police and officials
A violent encounter on January 23 between Kyrgyz border troops and alleged intruders from China’s Xinjiang province about 40 kilometers inside Kyrgyz Republic territory from the Chinese border left twelve dead, including one Kyrgyz citizen who had originally confronted the group. Initial reports indicated that eleven people were observed in Kyrgyz territory by camp ranger Alexander Barykin, who was killed when attempting to apprehend the men.
The Chinese government has begun implementing comprehensive strategic reforms in the hope of stabilizing the troubled Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region in northwest China, reports Duowei News, an outlet run by overseas Chinese.
During China’s Cultural Revolution the Uyghur linguist Ibrahim Mutte’i, who helped compile a comprehensive multilingual dictionary, was tortured in the pursuit of cultural conformity by having large volumes of his edited dictionary dropped on his head.
Chinese authorities have ordered further investigations into the case of an ethnic minority Uyghur blogger and activist languishing in jail with health problems after being detained for collecting donations to run Uyghur schools in the troubled Xinjiang region, his family said.
Tohti's family has received no news of him since his arrest at his Beijing home on 15 January. No one knows for sure, but he may have been secretly transferred to a prison in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
Chinese authorities detained the Central University for Nationalities professor on Jan. 15 but have refused to say where he is being held, accusing him of leading a separatist group that advocates violence to overthrow Chinese rule in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) — charges which Guzelnur totally refuted.
IN AN ominous sign of the fate awaiting one of China’s best-known Uighur intellectuals, security officials in the far western region of Xinjiang issued a statement on January 25, accusing him of separatism and inciting ethnic hatred. The statement provides the first concrete indication that the scholar, Ilham Tohti, an economics professor in Beijing, could face a long prison term for his advocacy on behalf of Uighurs, the Turkic-speaking Muslim minority whose uneasy coexistence with the Chinese authorities has grown increasingly violent.